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Vile

AEONS Starter Playtest Files

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Work on AEON Quickstart is going as fast as it possibly can, though in all honesty I think Christmas (2011!) is going to be a tough deadline to meet. To update you on what the Qickstart edition includes: basic character generation, game mechanics, skills and combat - basically, the sort of things players might need to have on hand when sitting around the game table. AEON Quickstart will not have rules on background and previous experience, magic, creatures or treasure; what you might term as 'referee rules'. Nor will there be any interior art, although Ganbat's beautiful cover will be there in black & white.

As AEON is not an OGL game, the Quickstart rules do not represent a System Reference Document. However, a copy of the AEON Logo Licence agreement will be included in the back of the book. This is a free licence and extremely easy to use, and it should not put anyone off creating 3rd party supplements for the AEON system.

AEON Quickstart will be available in digest-size (5.5 x 8.5") PDF and POD format from the OneBookShelf websites (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow).

Oh, and keep an eye out for the updated D100II SRD v1.2, which will be up in the Downloads section by Christmas! :P

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Work on AEON Quickstart is going as fast as it possibly can, though in all honesty I think Christmas (2011!) is going to be a tough deadline to meet.

I'm looking forward to this, but take as long as you like to get it right.

Oh, and keep an eye out for the updated D100II SRD v1.2, which will be up in the Downloads section by Christmas! :P

Nice work!

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Two questions.

Nor will there be any interior art, although Ganbat's beautiful cover will be there in black & white.

First, if there isn't going to be any interior art, is there any chance of releasing an epub version?

And second, is it safe to use the name Aeon? When White Wolf tried to use the name Aeon for one of their games they had to change the name to Trinity to avoid trademark issues.

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Fair's fair, Prime Evil, AEON Quickstart is not a rulebook in the same way that Legend is - it really is a minimal collection of rules with as little fluff as possible. It will allow you to play the game, but to create adventures and campaigns, non-human or previously-experienced characters the full core book will be necessary. Magic also comes only with the core book. Quickstart does what it says on the box. :)

Regarding epub, the question is mainly how well it can deal with tables, because there are quite a few tables. I've personally never used an epub file with images, which I believe is what tables would have to be converted to. There's a possibility if that works, but first things first - the PDF must be made ready. Then comes the core book in all its glory (although there will also be a no-art version for easy printing). Then we'll see about that epub version.

Finally, yes, I'm well aware of White Wolf's problems with their SF game and the name Aeon (though I'm sure I'll be assuring people of that for months to come!). AEON, however, is an ancient fantasy game and as such is extremely unlikely to be confused with an MTV cartoon. ;)

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If you check out the blog, you'll see that it started out as an RQ2 retro-clone under the working title of Glyphmaster - but that morphed into the D100II SRD while AEON spun off in another direction and is now very much its own game, though recognisably from the same D100 stable as RuneQuest, BRP and Legend. In fact, there will be a great deal of cross-compatibility between all of these due to the similarity of the stat block.

As for the meaning of 'ancient' in this context, think of it in the same way that D&D or Pathfinder are described as 'medieval'. In other words, the technological assumptions and general 'feel' of the rules are geared towards ancient fantasy, but that's not to say that it is a historical nor even an alternate ancient Earth setting. Certainly, there will be some anachronisms in the game, all in the name of entertainment.

The AEON core book does not feature an overt setting, although there is a setting behind the scenes. There are plans for the development of that game world in future through adventure supplements, but at the moment the focus is on the rules themselves.

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Ah - I was only mildly interested in the RQ2 retro-clone exercise, but with this new direction you've got my attention!

Can you share any more about this 'behind the scenes' setting?

Also - can you give some specific examples of how AEON will be differently flavoured from those other games you mentioned?

At some point someone needs to do a comprehensive survey of all the systems. It's probably still premature at this point, but once Aeon and RQ6 are out, it would be handy to have the comparison. I admit I'm losing track...

I'll check out the blog in the meantime. Oh- and the cover is great, too. Thanks!

Edited by Thalaba

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At some point someone needs to do a comprehensive survey of all the systems. It's probably still premature at this point, but once Aeon and RQ6 are out, it would be handy to have the comparison. I admit I'm losing track...

I freely mix them. Since I am a rules-light GM anyway, I don't even notice the differences.

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Ah - I was only mildly interested in the RQ2 retro-clone exercise, but with this new direction you've got my attention!
That's good to hear. flux.gif

Can you share any more about this 'behind the scenes' setting?
Not too much, because I don't want to contradict myself later (the tradition of gregging notwithstanding)! Suffice to say that the basic assumption is something of a compressed version of our ancient world (not just the near/middle east) - i.e. what would have been a larger geographical area and a longer spread of history in the real world. There is no geographical or direct correlation to Earth. I don't like to use the 'ages' to describe the setting because many of them overlap in AEON (as in the RW) - you have stone, copper, bronze and iron (and gold and silver) ages co-existing to some extent. There is tremendous variety in ancient cultures and civilisations, but this will be brought out bit-by-bit in future supplements. One thing that is certain is that AEON will stick more closely to the ancient vibe than is usually the case - not that this really prevents referees or interested licencees from creating their own preferred time period with the rules.

Also - can you give some specific examples of how AEON will be differently flavoured from those other games you mentioned?
That's a bit more tricky, and I'm not just saying that because some parts of the rules are still being written. In my view (which is not likely to be the same as anyone else's) AEON is an old-school system in that it is intended to allow maximum flexibility with minimum rules, while still retaining the 'crunchyness' associated with classic games. It's not rules-light in the way that so-called story-telling systems are, but neither does it try to create a rule for every eventuality. I hope that gives you some idea without me going into the type of detail that I should be writing in the manuscript at this very moment! :P

Okay, one specific example is the life path character generation system. Generating a character is a mini-game which allows players to work together to create their characters if they wish, although it can be fast-tracked for those who don't have the time or inclination. But it's a great way to get players prepared for the setting, especially if they are not familiar with the period. It also gives the character a place in the world, rather than the amoral outsider role that most old-school games tended to foster. I must point out again that this will not be in the Quickstart edition, not least because then it really would be late, but mainly because it's not something you would refer to much in play.

Oh - and the cover is great, too.
I couldn't be happier with it myself. I shall certainly be talking to Ganbat for future books.

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I freely mix them. Since I am a rules-light GM anyway, I don't even notice the differences.

And that's what we all should do. I often find that it's not the differences but the similarities between D100 systems that are so striking.

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And that's what we all should do. I often find that it's not the differences but the similarities between D100 systems that are so striking.

Agreed!

But gamers are always yearning for the One True System that fits their style of play perfectly, so even minor differences between games can become major bones of contention. I suppose that says something about human nature...

I do think that there is an opportunity for the various D100 derivatives to capture a decent share of the fantasy market at the moment. There is a real hunger out there for a rules-light alternative to games like Pathfinder and 4th edition D&D that the D100 games should be able to fill. The resurgence of retro-clone D&D games and the success of Savage Worlds shows that it can be done...

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As you know by now, AEON Quickstart will be a free-to-download PDF incorporating the basic rules of AEON. I will therefore be making the draft rules available on these boards for open playtest over the coming months. To start off, the basic character generation rules. Note that the Quickstart edition will not include detailed lifepath previous experience, so this file produces basic 14 year-old novices.

In order to avoid losing feedback amongst the responses, please limit your posts here only to playtest feedback. Now, to play! ;D

AEON Quickstart Playtest_01-2_Character Generation.pdf

AEON Quickstart Playtest_02-0_Skills.pdf

AEON Quickstart Playtest_03-2_Combat.pdf

Edited by Vile
Added Combat Chapter v3.2

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Attributes depend on a single characteristic for simplicity and ease of amendment during play - that's also the reason for the 5% steps. Movement is based on real life speeds, and MOV 10 works out better that way. Remember, AEON may have its roots in RQ2 (as do Legend and RQ6), but it's not the same game.

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You're right that SIZ is struggling for a reason to exist (it's always been marginal, even in other D100 systems) ... there may be some changes to bring it back from the brink. I am currently evaluating whether SIZ would make a good basis for hit points instead of CON. Signs are good so far.

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SIZ in AEON determines damage bonus, but it does not contribute to strike rank or hit points nor does it detract from any skills*. Is this reason enough for the existence of SIZ? I'm tempted to make total hit points equal SIZ, also. This would distribute the value of characteristics more evenly, as CON is used in skills as well as a lot of opposed rolls.

*Skills (playtest file coming up next) are categorised according to dominant characteristic, rather than adding another layer of terms like 'agility' or 'stealth'. SIZ, however, does not relate to any skills. Should it? Perhaps Stealth should be a SIZ skill. That would make SIZ a category with one skill, but that would not really be a problem.

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STR seems like a more natural fit for a damage modifier than SIZ. Big does not mean strong.

I would consider giving full damage modifier on short ranges for missile weapons, and a range extension instead of damage modifier beyond short range.

Is there a reason why you wish to move away from using multiple stats as a means of determination? Perhaps a something like a main and a modifier skill would make things easier. For example hit points could be based on CON and you can give + or - based on SIZ. Same for Move. Lets say all humans move at 10, but you get +1 for DEX 13+ or -1 for DEX 8 or less. if you stick with +/- 1, 2, or 3 then the calculations will not get out of hand and you do not need to worry about averaging.

10% steps in Defense are rather high. Wouldn't 5% increments be better?

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STR seems like a more natural fit for a damage modifier than SIZ. Big does not mean strong.
Big does, however, mean massive and the mass behind a blow is very relevant to how much damage it does. I think it's Newton's second law of RPG design that says that force = mass x acceleration, where strength is an adequate measure of acceleration.;)

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Perhaps Stealth should be a SIZ skill. That would make SIZ a category with one skill, but that would not really be a problem.

For humans I would see Stealth as a Dexterity based skill, but give a small negative modifier for

a significantly above average Size. Beyond the human scale it gets more difficult, an elephant

has major problems to be truly stealthy ...

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Wow...I'm away for a couple of days and there's yet another d100 variant available!

This is an interesting time to be a fan of the system - but in a good way. I don't think we have seen this much activity since the mid 1980s.

I'm looking forward to reading the AEON preview tonight...

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